In Brief: Why We Can’t Go Green Without Nuclear Energy
You cannot have a serious conversation about green energy without discussing nuclear power.
When climate fanatics claim they want to save the planet, ask them how they feel about nuclear energy. Windmills and solar panels are only going to get us so far, says Navy veteran and supply chain consultant Jim Nelles. To achieve what we’re after, nuclear power has to be a big factor.
Green energy has been a very hot topic for the last several years. Windmills and solar power have dominated the discussion. New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has championed her Green New Deal. President Joe Biden’s inappropriately named Inflation Reduction Act served to only inject money into Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s green plans.
The truth that most supporters of “green energy” neglect is that you cannot have a serious conversation about green energy without discussing nuclear power.
In 2021, 61% of “electricity generation came from burning coal, natural gas, or petroleum. Only 20% of the electricity in the U.S. came from renewables, mostly wind energy, hydropower, and solar energy … another 19% came from nuclear power,” per CNBC.
Nelles notes that energy production via nuclear is inherently cleaner than most alternatives — i.e., it produces no carbon output, which is the ultimate enemy according to the alarmists. “In fact,” he writes, “a 2019 report from the International Energy Agency says ‘over the past 50 years, the use of nuclear power has reduced CO2 emissions by over 60 gigatons — nearly two years’ worth of global energy-related emissions.‘”
In addition, nuclear power is extremely inexpensive. The cost of nuclear power was $35/MWh in 2018. This is “less than half the cost of coal- and gas-fired power plants.”
Many people will argue that nuclear is dangerous and a threat to the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. To quote Bill Gates, not a Right-wing advocate, “nuclear energy, in terms of an overall safety record, is better than other energy.” In nuclear power’s history as an energy source, “there have only been three major incidents worldwide.” Three incidents against the “backdrop of 60 years of nuclear production, totaling more than 17,000 cumulative reactor years … in 33 nations.”
Because “going 100% green is not practical,” Nelles concludes, Americans are going to have to buy into nuclear power.
There is enough energy in nuclear waste in the United States to “power the entire country for 100 years. The technology necessary to turn nuclear waste into energy is known as a nuclear fast reactor, and has existed for decades. For political and economic reasons, the technology has never been developed at commercial scale.” Imagine a source of energy where the waste can be recycled to create even more energy. Is there anything more green than that?
Is nuclear power the only answer? Certainly not. A balanced energy policy will include every available source: coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, and hydroelectric. If Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and congress are serious about renewable and green energy, nuclear power must be a part of the plan.
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